FEATURES,  View from the Water

How hard do you chase your dreams?

In 2008, Gideon Nasilowski watched the Paralympic swimming in Beijing and set himself a goal: to become Namibia’s first Paralympic swimmer. At the time he was overweight, and a heavy drinker and smoker. He liked to party.

Within a few months of setting the goal he’d shed 55kg. By 2012 his swimming had improved beyond recognition and he’d travelled to South Africa to race and compete internationally. However, he was unable to qualify for London 2012 due to his limited international racing experience. Undaunted, he’s now set his sights on Rio 2016 but he’s still got a long way to go. He needs to compete in more international events to achieve his official disability classification, he has to raise sponsorship to fund his travel, and he wants to swim even faster.

Gideon’s pursuit of his dream could be described as fanatic. He wakes at 4 a.m. to train for two hours before work. After eight hours in the office in returns to the gym for a further two and half hour training session before he walks the seven kilometres back home. He still finds time to complete challenging open water swims to help raise his profile and to be the chairperson of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia, fighting for better living standards for people with disabilities.

Would you work that hard to achieve your dreams?

Could you even define your goal as clearly as Gideon? That surely is the first step. And would you be prepared to declare you goal so openly? When Gideon first mentioned his dream, his friends told him he’d never do it. They couldn’t imagine someone being capable of the transformation that was needed.

What would you give up to pursue your dream? Gideon stopped drinking and smoking and goes to a lot fewer parties than before. He needed to completely re-organise and refocus his life.

People like Gideon are inspiring because of their clarity of ambition and the effort they put in to achieving their goals.
What are your goals and how hard are you prepared to work for them?

In the June/July 2013 issue of H2Open Magazine we have an interview with Gideon. Read and be inspired.
Pre-order a copy of the June/July 2013 issue before 17 May 2013
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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.